To facilitate the assessment of adverse effects of very low concentrations of air pollutants on general populations, we planned to establish a reliable biomarker that is also useful in identifying vulnerable populations. For this purpose we monitored several inflammation markers in blood samples from 2 year old Japanese children (N = 30), and found that those children living close to major highways (<50 m) show higher levels of mRNA expression IL-22 in their blood samples than those living further away (+50 m). This tendency was more pronounced among subjects showing positive IgE against egg and milk. We further examined association between IL-22 mRNA expression and PCB residues and found a number of significant positive correlations between each individual PCB congener and IL-22 expression. To identify the most vulnerable population among those children we selected asthma as a typical allergy-related disease, and could show that there are significant differences in the levels of IL-22 mRNA expression between IgE negative non-asthmatic subject and asthmatic children showing positive IgE reaction toward egg or milk, again. These observations support our main conclusion that IL-22 expression is a sensitive biomarker which is useful in identifying sub-populations of children who are especially vulnerable to air pollution.
Issn1661-7827 (Print) 1660-4601 (Electronic)
JournaltitleInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health